We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I never learned how to play a musical instrument (though I did sing background bass in streetcorner doo-wop in Brooklyn and got good enough at hambone to be -- even with my NY accent -- part of a very local group of good ol' boys beer drinking buddies when I lived in the South in the '70s). The instrument I would play, if I had any talent and patience to learn, would be country fiddle. When I lived in the S.F. Bay Area, I'd go to fiddle and folk festivals in Gold Country, where in the early '80s one of my favorites --John Hartford -- taught me how to build an acoustic floorboard. (See the second video below.)
Here's a recent addition to fiddle music that I came across in a review. Warning: Don't fiddle around on this lady.
Sorry I didn't. Glad you brought it up. Among John Hartford's talents was that he was a Mississippi riverboat pilot. More bio info: http://www.johnhartford.com/biography.cfm including that he was a descendant of Patrick Henry.
Hartford was also a heck of a nice guy to be around.
I really enjoy Hartford's music and style. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are the best. I stumbled into them a few years ago on Latr w/Jools Holland on BBCA. Picked up their first CD Dona Got a Ramblin Mind which I'm looking at right this very second.
I've always played guitar, bass and banjo. Started when I was ten playing my Dad's old arch top Gibson. Quit playing twenty years ago except for the occasional plinking and plunking, then picked it up seriously again three months ago when my Granddaughter started to play.
Amazing how muscle memory can be retrained for a long time. Some daily practice time and it's all coming back to me.
For some reason, I can't play a fretless instrument - never have been able to.
Hartford had a small scene --just a few seconds --in the Coen's masterpiece O Brother, Where Art Thou? --he was part of a depicted parade marching Baby Face Nelson off to jail or the chair. Playing a 1930s deep south rural, he was a-marchin' and a-fiddling, had his cap on sidewize so the bill wouldn't hit his bow, grinnin' like a possum eatin' doodoo, and doing a crazy little hop step on the downbeat of the tune --which was itself crazy, a sort of rondel or chantey in a minor key played way flat. man he poured a lot into that few seconds on the screen. Not too long later was when he passed away. He was way too young to go --he had some chronic lymphoma that finally got him, bless him.
Re Hartford passing so young, this will strike you as a 'goodbye' song for a folk funeral.
The Kossoy sisters are identical twins --they are in their 70s and tho they sound like young angels here i bet they were pretty near that when they made this recording, as a plethora of renditions ensued from the "O Brother" songs, one of which was this song, by Emmy Lou Harris, Gillian Welch and Alison Krause in the film.
The Kossoy sisters i believe have made two albums, only 50 or so years apart from each other. They really took a break between those two albums.
Anyhoo it's funny about these 'down home' mountain music southern roots folk singers and banjo pickers --Hartford is from New York City and the sisters are from near Boston!
Halleleuyah, maybe there's still an olde America in here somewhere after all!
if you like harmony sweet and angelic, this song'll do ya mighty fine.
My grandfather played fiddle, harmonica, and organ. That was back in 1904 when the Oklahoma land rush was on. He gave it all up when he joined the Fire Baptised Holiness Church, although he did play some harmonica for me when I was a little tyke.
There was also the uncle who played mandolin on the radio together with his dog. The dog added the howling. Then there were two aunts who sang in gospel groups, and another who wrote a book of hymns. The one surviving aunt still has an amazing voice at age 84.
Wonderful clips; thanks for sharing. I've been a John Hartford fan since I was a kid and used to see him on the Smothers Brothers show. Very sad for his passing. I'd never heard of Carolina Chocolate Drops, but I'm glad to make their acquaintance.
And it's never too late to take up an instrument! A couple of years ago, at age 50, I took up the mandolin. I wanted to do something creative and mentally stimulating in my spare time, and I've always loved music. It's just for my own enjoyment, and I'll never be more than an amateur/hobbyist, but still, I'm having a lot of fun with it, and it's a real feeling of accomplishment when I learn something new. This is a great time to learn an instrument; there's a ton of instructional material out there (although it depends on the instrument), much of it free and online. So I encourage everyone who's so inclined to take up the instrument of their choice.